Since the increased practice of buying and selling used games, heavyweight distributors like GAMESTOP and AMAZON have offered trade-in store credit in exchange for your old or partially used video games. While this method of business may be appealing for returning customers, a new upstart company is aiming to give more value to this concept as a whole. GAMESTAQ is an online gaming community that allows gamers to buy and sell titles with each other while receiving cash in return. Recently I had the opportunity to interview the team about the logistics of GAMESTAQ and their goals for where they want to take things. Hope that you enjoy and above all learn something….
The Koalition Interview with Gamestaq Co-Founders, David Faham & Joe Gindi
1) What is Gamestaq?
About 18 months ago Joe and I were talking how we weren’t happy with the options out there for buying/selling our games.
There were some very cool new trading sites out, such as Goozex, but we were looking for something with a little less commitment, and dealing in cash.Our choices were pretty much Gamestop or eBay… which for obvious reasons we weren’t too happy with. So, we sat with pad and pen in the lobby of the Empire State Building and started writing out ideas… anything our crazy minds could come up with, big or small.
A few more mid-town brainstorming sessions and we ended up with the groundwork for Gamestaq.com
At the core, we’re a gamer to gamer marketplace where the game values/prices are set, and there’s no middle-man retailer marking up the games. Gamers buy and sell directly with each other at the set price, and Gamestaq takes a small transaction fee.
This way, the gamers end up with the best and fairest game values (whether buying or selling).
And it’s dead simple. There’s no trade tokens. No bidding. No store credit, or pain in the ass clerks asking about preorders.
Just a place for gamers to easily buy and sell their games at the best prices anywhere. Period.
2) Why is Gamestaq better then Amazon and Gamestop? How are you guys able to provide good quality rates for both trade-ins and used games?
Gamestop, Amazon, Walmart, Toys R Us, and the rest of the crew, all use the same old used-game business model.
They buy the game from you for as cheap as possible, and they sell it to the next guy for as much as they can. Buy low, sell high.
Their profits on used games are through the roof. That’s why we’re seeing more and more retailers jump on the bandwagon.
In the 1st qtr of 2009, Gamestop made $263 Million in Gross Profits on $548 Million in used game sales. That’s close to 50% markup on YOUR games.
Gamestaq is looking to reinvent the used-game business… by putting it in the gamers’ hands.
This is f#%’n 2009! We should be able to deal directly with other gamers anywhere in the country, instead of through a middleman company.
Using our value system, we provide the price for each game on the site. This way, every buyer and seller knows exactly how much they’ll be paying/receiving for their game just by browsing the site. Gamestaq takes a small fee to keep the lights on and servers running.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
@ Gamestop they’ll give you $25, and sell it used for $55
@ Gamestaq, you’ll buy or sell it for $38.
Again Gamestaq only takes a small fee to keep the lights on and servers running. Bottom line is we’re taking the profit that the retailers make on your games, and giving it back to you.
GAMESTOP is the main culprit in corrupting the practice of selling used games. The value you may think your getting by trading in your games is actually minimal compared to the profit they make off of you. Its important to remember that as a consumer you have options and therefore you should definately do your homework beforehand.
3) By charging a Gamestaq fee for every transaction, how are you guys making a profit thus to continue providing superior business to all your customers?
The Gamestaq Fee per transaction is $1 or $2 to buyer and seller, depending on the value of the game.
Right now we are focusing on building a strong community of gamers which will generate enough transactions to keep us profitable and allow us to keep pushing forward. At the end of the day, it’s the user that will make or break the system… and we believe it will be the former.
4) How often do you guys update your catalog? Once the site opens up to a full library of games how far back will your catalog go?
During Beta, our catalog is updated every week or so with new games in each console. Games that are added include new releases as well as games requested by our users. We pay very close attention to the requests of our community and many of our games added have come from user requests. As we go forward and increase our users, we will be listening to them on how far back they want the catalog to go. Of course we have the capability of going back to 8 or 16 bit gaming… but as much as we love our glory days, we don’t want to just overload the site with games from 1988. So, we will be watching for what the community wants.
5) What are your plans for the site beyond BETA?
We want to keep building on top of the core concept of the site.
Adding more features like, Buyer and Seller queues . Social interaction. Facebook/Twitter tie ins. PSN/XBL tie ins. Etc.
And to take over the world, of course! After all, we are gamers.
If you enjoyed this interview and would like to check out their beta catalog feel free to hit them up online HERE